Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)


PSYCHOLOGY: Measuring Physiological Response to High-Stress Music During Gameplay

Publication Date

Spring 2023


Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Michael Oliver

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Music is something that has, and always will, have a profound effect on the way that humans go about daily life. However, research on how music physiologically affects individuals is a growing topic within the field of psychology. There are several different ways in which music and physiology have been connected. For example, several studies note that music of any tempo elevates heart rate (van Dyck et al., 2017; Færøvik 2017). Music has also been associated with a decrease in physiological markers of stress such as cortisol and blood pressure (Chanda & Levitin, 2013; Kreutz et al., 2012). Although music has been linked to physiology, the relationship between music-induced physiological change and performance is less understood. In the current study, we aim to investigate the effects of music-induced physiological change on heart rate on a classic video game. After putting on a heart rate monitor, participants are tasked with playing two rounds of Mario Kart; both with and without sound. In conducting this type of research, psychologists bring together aspects of neuroscience and psychology in hopes of aiding in fully understanding the physiological link between heart rate and music.

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